Linux 5.16 To Feature More Extensible VirtIO GPU Driver With "Context Types" Addition

Written by Michael Larabel in Virtualization on 30 September 2021 at 08:29 AM EDT. 13 Comments
Google's work on the VirtIO DRM kernel driver around the notion of "context types" and being able to initialize different types of contexts is set to be merged for Linux 5.16 in opening up more use-cases for this driver that is an important part of the open-source virtualization graphics stack for graphics.

The existing VirtIO GPU driver is modeled around Virgl protocol usage for 3D within guest virtual machines but with this context init / context type work is around being able to accommodate additional protocols for GPU communication between the guest VM and the host.

Complementing the Virgl support, Google's Chrome OS engineers have been eyeing GFXSTREAM support for OpenGL and Vulkan with this VirtIO driver. This context type work could also open up being able to pass Wayland commands through the VirtIO driver and other protocols. Chrome OS engineers have been testing the new possibilities around with their CrosVM.

Back in August I originally wrote about this work with Google aiming to make VirtIO GPU support more extensible. The news today is the new context code for the VirtIO DRM driver was sent in as part of this week's drm-misc-next batch.

The code is now on its way to DRM-Next and will then be mainlined with Linux 5.16 for further improving the kernel's VirtIO capabilities.

All the context init work was sent in as part of this pull request.
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